Life has been busy (I’ve missed blogging!), but I really can’t complain… I’m blessed in so many ways; even on the hard days I’m lucky to have my funny DH, good family, friends, health, a roof over my head and so much more… including finding a passion such as my ‘sugar hobby’ and this blog. The tragedy in Haiti has made me feel even more gratitude; it makes one reflect doesn’t it?
Besides donating straight to the Red Cross and praying for the people suffering in Haiti I needed to do something else to help out.
What to do?
I came accross some leftover flowers from this cake which led me to an obvious conclusion:
A bake sale!
I organized, some students baked, some drew posters, and the school bought treats. It was heartwarming to see how enthusiastically students contributed and how willingly people donated.
Two days on lunches this week we sold cupcakes and chocoloate chip cookies. The students made the cupcakes and icing in class, and I contributed some leftover flower and flood work icing bird toppers I had from a cake decorating class (more on that later), and my Christmas gingerbread house.
Students were happy to use our large stand mixer (Hobart mixer). We don’t need to use it too often.
On our first day of the sale we sold out quickly, so we knew we needed the big guns for the next day. For the chocolate cupcakes of course.
For vanilla we only needed the kitchen aide.
Didn’t manage to get pics of them icing the cupcakes because I was also watching and marking the practical exams (she’s making crèpes):
Here are some of the finished cupcakes though:
These are chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing and decorated with gumpaste flower toppers.
Don’t know if you can tell in the pic, but students sprinkled small melted sugar droplets on the icing for a ‘wintery’ effect. (Easy to make – put isomalt or clear crushed candy in the oven on a baking sheet covered with parchment, and bake at 350 degrees until they melt).
The flowers I made before Christmas at the Bonnie Gordon School, in Peggy Porschen’s class. They’re made out of gum paste (for a gum paste definition here’s a link to my glossary), and the flower cutters used were the Calyx cutter and the 5-Petal Flower cutter. Thanks to Laura (from the Peggy Porschen cake class), who offered me the leaves she had left over from her cake. We put them to good use!
Some flowers have also been sprayed with lustre spray and sprinkled with disco dust The centers are edible sugar pearls and dragées. For a wee tutorial on how to make gum paste leaves (the same proceedure as these flowers) see here.
Back to the bake sale! Can’t forget the chocolate chip cookies:
Students made them using the Nieman Marcus recipe. I’ll share the recipe because they were good (I mean it’s chocolate chip – how could it not be?!), but I still like Barefoot Contessa’s recipe better. I’ll bet the Nieman Marcus one is a smidgen healthier though because it has oats in it (LOL).
Here are a few Hospitality students selling the baked goods on lunch.
And on another lunch. (I don’t know why those white spots on the picture are there – Still learning lots about photography).
We ended up selling out and raised almost $200.00 for the Red Cross. Not a whoooole lot, but good for a bake sale!
If you’d like to try the Nieman Marcus cookie, here’s the recipe:
Neiman Marcus Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups butter
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
- 24 oz. chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated) (optional)
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.
For a printer friendly version, click here.
Here’s another option – the straight chocolate chip recipe:
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
- 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
|1.||Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)|
|2.||Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.|
|3.||In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.|
|4.||Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.|
|Yield:||* 2 dozen cookies|
For a printer-friendly version, click here.
p.s. We made a batch each of chocolate and red velvet cupcakes for our first sale, but weren’t 100% happy with the red velvets. If anyone has or knows of really good recipe, would love to hear from you in the comment section!